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 Post subject: The Challenge
PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2000 1:37 pm 
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You just completed the best workout you ever had. You performed your designated kata well above your expectations. You are happy that you have come to the dojo tonight and everything appears to be going well in your life today. You stay and converse with Sensei and leave just as he locks the door to go in the back room to change.
You sling your bag over your shoulder and head out the door, the last person to leave.
In your bag is your gi, belt, and personal protection equipment. You have your headgear, hand and footgear with you.

There is a group of 3 men outside in the parking lot in the path to your car. As you aproach your car one of them says, "I see you were in that karate studio, are you good enough to take on the three of us?" The tone of his voice is not like a question but more like a challenge. They block your path to your car. You know Sensei will be comming out in less than 10 minutes.

Will you accept the challenge or will you use VSD?



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Len Testa


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 Post subject: The Challenge
PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2000 1:37 pm 
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Start with Detection
Walking out of the dojo into the parking lot I see three young men looking in my direction as I approach my car, they are in my path. I can not turn around and go back into the school because the door is locked.
I decide to try to get to my car and take my chances. I am aware that I may be attacked and decide to try VSD to keep them occupied until Sensei comes out. While detecting the situation you can inventory your bag and determine if there is anything inside that may help you against a multiple attack. If you carry any small weapon in your bag, remove it and place it in your hand. I have no weapons only my belt and a pen. I decide to put the pen in my hand.
They offer the challenge as they see me approach.

Try to Diffuse
"Excuse me, I am not experienced enough to try to fight all of you. I am more interested in physical fitness and maintaining my health and body. This is why I study karate. Not to fight in parking lots. If you wish to test my skills, please sign up at my Sensei's school and we can spar one on one in front of him. He will be comming out soon and you can discuss the programs and prices with him."

Buying time is very important here. Telling the group that you have reinforcements may trigger one of two things.
1. The group will attack you immediately because they want to get you before your Sensei comes out.
2. They will realize that you may have your Sensei's help in defending yourself and leave you alone without further confrontation.

You must be prepared to defend against the attack as you are trying to diffuse with VSD.
At any moment during your conversation somone may initiate it. Do not get close enough to allow this to happen. Put down your bag before you begin your VSD to allow you to have both arms ready if needed. There is no way you will be able to get anything out of your bag in time unless you take it out at the detection stage.

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Len Testa


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 Post subject: The Challenge
PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2000 4:16 pm 
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A small difference of opinion, Len.

You may be overlooking the bag itself as a weapon or assuming that it is not a weapon.

My bag could be a flail, or a thrown distraction weapon. I would prefer to have it in one hand, prepared either to whip it/throw it or drop it and go into action, while having the other hand free for non-violent gestures.

student


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 Post subject: The Challenge
PostPosted: Sat Sep 30, 2000 2:06 am 
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Location: Ptld OR USA
You could always try:

"Fight three of you? Heck, no! We're just a tap dance club practice here after those chop socky guys go home."

Image Rory


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 Post subject: The Challenge
PostPosted: Sun Oct 01, 2000 2:34 am 
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I felt this sensation before, but nothing has ever happened. If I were to take pieces from another time where I was threatened, and placed them here, I would definitely start smileing. Hopefully my duffle bag would get the knife not me. I would defintely say someone else is coming.


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 Post subject: The Challenge
PostPosted: Mon Oct 02, 2000 2:02 pm 
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Student:
Absoulutely
And as crazycat stated...the bag can be used to thrwart a knife attack, but that is only assuming that they are willing to brandish a knife before the confrontation has begun. In this case the three "challengers" are not going to show you what they are carrying until you except the challenge. If you are able to use the bag, you had better be trained in how. Incorporate the use of the bag while practicing scenario training.

Also the karate belt is very useful. Next time you are in the dojo, take it off and place it in both hands and performing wauke blocks with it. Have someone make stabbinmg motions toward you and try to tie up th earm with it. It might be useful against a leg too, when they try to kick. Again you MUST practice these in scenario training in the dojo. You need to be very proficient in the use of "weapons" whether they be real or improvised.

Rory:
Do you think that line is somewhat sarcastic?
It may make them think you are trying to make light of the situation and them. Would that statement be a trigger and possible cause an attack?

crazycat:
Yes the best bet is to say that someone else will be around to help or call the police.


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Len Testa


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 Post subject: The Challenge
PostPosted: Mon Oct 02, 2000 10:08 pm 
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Depending on a lot of factors, I have/would/might answer in different ways.

1) Just the three of you? This should be fun! Bring it on, @$$hole!

2) What do you want? Here (flip them a $10 wrapped around a book of matches), that's all the money I'm carrying, why don't you guys go have a beer on me and just let me go see my family.

3) (Reaching for strong-side) I have it, so who wants to die first?

I've successfully used each of those (or some variation) in the "interview" phase.


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 Post subject: The Challenge
PostPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2000 11:47 am 
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Wow Panther

So you would accept the challenge.
Would you wait for an attack first?

That first response doesn't sound like VSD. Image

These individuals are not looking for money.
They are looking for a challenge. In your third response you state that you are carrying, most of us do not carry a gun. I suppose this statement would make even a larger group reconsider.

I definately would not bluff having a gun. They might just pull one out themselves.

As much as I feel invincible after a good workout, and know I am at the pinnicle of my training right after a class, I would try to talk my way out without creating a situation that would make the group want to take me on even more.

A statement such as your first one, would definately make the group attack. You have called the talker an *%#hole and "thems fightin words" in my book. You have played nicely into their plans.

Now if you really enjoy taking on three punks in the parking lot after a good workout...You have your chance now.



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Len Testa


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 Post subject: The Challenge
PostPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2000 12:56 pm 
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Hi Len and others. I'm glad firstly Len that you called it "a challenge".

I think there is a big distinction between a challenge and a threat. This situation is not a threat yet to my mind. At this point any trash talking or physical movement to my mind is simply ego-stroking...which usually ends up as an a$$-kicking! Plus the fact you don't know if these are skilled, are armed, on drugs, etc. Image

I think the best thing I would do in a scenario like that would be to say in a really positive energetic tone of voice: "No. But hey, you guys look like you're in pretty good shape...do you work out or study any martial arts? You should come by some time and take in a class...I bet you'd be awesome at it!!!! Why not come by on (blank) and check it out?"

You have diffused, paid a compliment, perhaps piqued an interest...and hopefully you get to walk away and so do they. Image

Of course you could always say: "No...but the next guy coming out could....stick around for him"...get in your car and drive away, making a note to yourself to join the witness protection program in another State the next day!! Image



[This message has been edited by Mary S (edited October 03, 2000).]


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 Post subject: The Challenge
PostPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2000 2:10 pm 
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Hi Mary

Good post!

To pay a compliment to a group that has just challenged you can't be all that bad. Being complimented probably never crossed their minds. It would make them think. You also have stated that you will have reinforcements on the way, as someone else will be coming out the door soon.

I think it is important in this situation to:

1. Do not exhibit any fear, being calm and speaking in a calm but concerned tone will be beneficial in helping control the chemical cocktail (if possible).
2. Keep them talking until the Sensei or someone else comes around. They will think again on attacking if you have some support.
3. Do not mention that you know very much.
"I am not that experienced and I could never take on a group by myself" you could say. They probably think this anyway and you are feeding their ego's, which may cause them to let down their guard.
4. If you tell them to consider karate training and to discuss this with your Sensei who is still inside what if they say..."We don't need to study karate to kick #&*, we learned how to fight on the streets."

What would be a good response to this statement?

Would the situation be the same for a female?
Would the group challenge a female to a fight?
I would imagine if a female student was confronted, the challenge would be different. Possibly rape instead of an #@* kicking might cross their minds.

Mary do you think the situation would be different if it was you who was confronted?



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Len Testa


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 Post subject: The Challenge
PostPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2000 3:07 pm 
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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by LenTesta:

So you would accept the challenge.
Would you wait for an attack first?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Generally... NO.

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote
Quote:
That first response doesn't sound like VSD. Image


Well, the responses I gave aren't necessarily what I'd do in the situation. As I said, it depends on a lot of different factors.

I must say, though, that I have used each of those reponses in the past to successfully ward off an attack.

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote
Quote:
These individuals are not looking for money.


True enough from your scenerio, but then again, flipping them the 10 spot with a different phrase such as: "Hell no I can't take you! I'd much rather have a beer with you... Here, I'll buy." Could very well do the trick.

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>They are looking for a challenge. In your third response you state that you are carrying, most of us do not carry a gun. I suppose this statement would make even a larger group reconsider.

I definately would not bluff having a gun. They might just pull one out themselves.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I never said it was a bluff... I used that as a bluff once in my life to stop a group of punks from beating up some friends of mine. It worked on that occasion. Since that one time, I don't bluff about it anymore. The other time I've used a similar phrase, it was to prevent myself from getting mugged by a group of punks... It wasn't a bluff, but they backed off without finding out. I figure that if it's a multiple attacker situation, then it's only fair to let them know that I will stop the threat.

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote
Quote:
As much as I feel invincible after a good workout, and know I am at the pinnicle of my training right after a class, I would try to talk my way out without creating a situation that would make the group want to take me on even more.


I'll use whatever phrase seems appropriate for getting the perp to stop their threat. If it's buying them a drink... fine. If it's acting the coward... fine. If it's acting psycho and making them wonder... fine. If it's warning them that the tables are going to be turned... that's fine too.

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote
Quote:
A statement such as your first one, would definately make the group attack. You have called the talker an *%#hole and "thems fightin words" in my book. You have played nicely into their plans.


It's your scenerio, so I can't disagree. However, I was in a situation once where a group of thugs decided they wanted to prove that the "Karahtee Sin-see" could get his ass kicked... IIRC, my response was: "There's just the five of you? I need the extra practice! This should be fun! Oh... you got a knife... That's supposed to scare me? Is it sharp enough to cut bone? Nevermind, I'll find out after I break your arm off and shove it down your throat... Come ON! Do it (insert very nasty derogatory term here)!" I think the next thing I said was, "Hey, come back! We didn't have any fun yet!" As they ran to their car...

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote
Quote:
Now if you really enjoy taking on three punks in the parking lot after a good workout...You have your chance now.


Not really... Like I said, it depends on a lot of things that aren't conveyed in the original scenerio. In the case that I just mentioned, I had some prior knowledge of the punks involved and knew they were basically cowards who were bullies. OTOH, I've been confronted by serious street thugs and that's an entirely different scenerio.


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 Post subject: The Challenge
PostPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2000 3:39 pm 
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Wow Len, good question!! Do I think the situation would be different if it was me? I assume you are asking because I am female. Image

I think often there is a "perceived" disadvantage to be a female in this situation. Women are generally considered the weaker sex, don't know how to defend and protect themselves, and are a great target. I would try to use their misperception to my advantage. Just because these guys may think I'm an easy target doesn't make it so.

I think I would probably handle the way I stated....I am a talker first, fighter second. My own personal rule has always been that if I can't talk or walk my way out of situation, then I would use physical skills.
That doesn't mean my alertness and readiness are on the back burner and as I am talking or walking I would try to position myself against any physical threat. I would, if it became necessary, become physical. As we are engaging in our dialogue, I would watch how these three carry themselves....any weaknesses, do they defer to one person doing all the talking, are they bunched together or spaced out (in more ways than one), etc.

For your # 4...My next response would be: "Really? The street? Man, you have the same type of build as (blank) at my dojo who is one incredibly disciplined fighter....I'm surprised you don't train...you should really consider it"

I would like to point out one thing that I would consider doing as a female. Even those these guys have not attacked me in any way I would not be adverse to screaming...one of those long high pitched screams that breaks glass...and shatters eardrums...the kind a small child who doesn't get its way has in a crowded department store which makes everyone cringe for aisles upon aisles... Image

What's that gonna do?

Shock them. "Here we were having a chat and she went off!"
Attract attention. Sensei is sure to come running when he hears that!
Get you rev'd up. Adrenalin is now moving into high gear and you're ready to rip ears off heads.
Make them feel damn uncomfortable...and perhaps want to leave...

(just my humble $.02 Cndn.) Image


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 Post subject: The Challenge
PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2000 4:16 pm 
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I think that is a good way to handle the situation Mary.

Observation and alertness to the movements and conversation of the group should be foremost in your mind. Always look for an escape route and don't be afraid to scream.

A good idea when leaving the dojo at the end of the nightly class is to look out the door and scan the parking lot/front area for these types of groups or other imposing figures who normally do not frequent the area. It is an ounce of prevention. You can also point out to the Sensei that there may be unruly people in your path to your vehicle. Sensei could walk to your car with you as he/she leaves the dojo.

As a rule, I always look around outside the door before I lock up. When I open the door and go outside, I look around and observe exactly who is around and where. I then put whatever I have in my arms down and lock the door. You never know when there may be someone waiting to surprise you.

The old dojo where I taught was in a bad neighborhood right on Main street. When I left, I constantly saw hookers and their male protectors, and drug dealers standing and walking up and down the street. I was never bothered by them as I did not make it seem like I was concerned that they were there. I was however aware of every move they made. Of course, while exiting a karate studio, they must have assumed that I was a fighter and they probably wanted no part of me anyway. But obviously they did not know if I was a Sensei or a beginner, unless they see me unlocking or locking up.

I am in a safer part of town now, but I never take that for granted, and I am just as aware of what is going on now as I ever was on Main Street.



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Len Testa


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